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Finding Form: Encaustic in the Third Dimension

Colored wax on a flat surface is just the beginning! This workshop will look at materials and forms to bring your ideas to life, allowing you to create fascinating structures that leave the two-dimensional plane.

Material is an essential part of our visual language, so you should choose the materials you wish to speak with care. Along with your ideas, you will bring various materials; these could include wood, cardboard, metal, unglazed fired clay pieces, dried plasterwork, fiber, string, paper, objects from nature, or treasures you have held onto (a complete list of suggestions to follow). You will learn exciting ways to weave these objects into your work.

Experiment with how the materials may be dipped, painted, wired, glued, hammered, but most of all, waxed. You will start by making the encaustic medium to which you will add your pigment. Encaustic is a wax-based paint composed of beeswax, resin, and pigment, which is kept as a hot liquid on a heated palette, and then applied to an absorbent surface. In addition to safety practices, you will learn various techniques, including fusing, using transparencies, glazing, layering, building up texture, line making, carving, image transfer, mold making, and resin application with different surfaces. Returning students will learn new methods and may choose to work on advanced projects if they wish. Each student will finish up to two pieces during the week (using 3D and relief techniques).

  • Any tools that you can carve with or you enjoy using
  • An apron
  • Sketches of ideas you might like to try – this class is about executing your ideas in new materials, so the more ideas, the better. This could be a chance to mix your current work with encaustic.
  • Small objects you wish to include in your pieces – these could be treasures you have held onto or other items like, ceramic (fired clay pieces/dried plaster work), metal, paper or organic materials (wood, fiber, string).
  • Adjustable settling propane torch and/or heat gun
  • Oil paints to add to the encaustic work or to paint other objects that are not wax (oil paint, brushes or thinners for painting, etc. – these are not provided, but you are welcome to bring your own)
  • You are welcome to bring your own cradled birch painting panel(s) (any size).

This workshop’s $120 lab fee includes encaustic wax, pigments, two wood panels, art resin, and the use of propane torches, alcohol lamp, and metal tools.

Holly Wilson (Delaware Nation/Cherokee Nation) a contemporary multi-media artist. With a BFA from the Kansas City Art Institute, MA and MFA from Stephen F. Austin State University, Texas. Wilson’s works are in corporate, public, and museum collections throughout the United States, as well as national and international private collections such as; Virginia Museum of Fine Art, C.N. Gorman Museum, Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art, and Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art. She has exhibited her work at Crystal Bridges Museum of Art, IAIA Museum of Contemporary Native Arts, in Santa Fe, Springfield Art Museum in Springfield, Missouri, Wheelwright Museum of the American Indian. Wilson has received many awards, grants, and fellowships for her evocative sculptures, including a 2017 SWAIA Discovery Fellowship from the Santa Fe Indian Market and a 2015 Eiteljorg Fellowship.

Instagram: @hollywilsonart

Native American & Inland Empire Teacher Scholarships 

We recently made some changes to our scholarship application process.

Generous donors have made scholarships and fellowships for adult workshops available on a limited basis for these specific groups:

  1. Native American Community Leaders, Artists, Members, and Teachers
  2. Inland Empire Teachers, Professors, and Graduate Students

Scholarships include tuition, lab fee, dorm housing, and all meals provided by the campus dining service. We believe in allowing everyone a chance to experience the transformative power of art at Idyllwild Arts. In order to reach as many as possible with this opportunity we are happy to extend each applicant one scholarship. These scholarships are designed to provide access to arts based educational opportunities that will advance your personal and professional development as well as the Indigenous community(ies) you come from. You are responsible for paying the $50 application fee and transportation to and from campus. A short essay (200 to 750 words) expressing how this opportunity will benefit you and your community is required, we want to hear from you! We also ask that you provide screenshots of your last two W2s so that the scholarship committee can identify financial need and assess the scholarship amount to be offered. We are pleased to offer scholarships in two categories.

  • Full Scholarship: students receive meals, housing, and tuition and lab fee (room and board if applicable).
  • Half Scholarship: students receive approximately half off their tuition (room and board if applicable)

For more detailed information and a Scholarship FAQ please read Adult Scholarships FAQs.

Scholarship Details: 

  1. Native American Community Members, Leaders, Artists, and Teachers
    For adults 19 and older with current tribal affiliation, the scholarship brings community leaders, artists, members, and teachers to workshops at Idyllwild Arts to benefit both the scholarship recipients themselves and those in their schools or tribal communities. Applicants who demonstrate financial need may receive priority. We also offer scholarships for Native American Teens for both the Summer Program and the Academy.
  2. Inland Empire Teachers, Professors, and Graduate Students
    For teachers and graduate students from the Inland Empire (Riverside and San Bernardino Counties and the adjacent areas), this scholarship brings teachers and graduate students to Idyllwild Arts to attend Native American Arts workshops. The Native American Arts Workshops benefit both recipients and their students and communities, providing culturally appropriate instruction and professional development to teachers and graduate students. Applicants with financial needs may receive priority. These scholarships are made possible through the generous support of the San Manuel Band of Serrano Mission Indians.

Click here for more information about adult scholarships.

Age: 19 years and above

Dates: June 26 – 30, 2023
One week session

Tuition, room, and board: $1719

Day student tuition: $840

Lab Fee: $120 includes: encaustic wax, pigments, 2 12”x16” wood panels, propane, Rebound 25 Brushable, resin, liquid plastic, use of wood-burning tools, griddles, propane torches, alcohol lamp, two metal tools.

Skill Level: All levels.

Enrollment is limited to 8 students

Instructor: Holly Wilson

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